NASA Moonbound CAPSTONE probe stuck in safe mode

Artist's depiction of CAPSTONE.

Artist’s depiction of CAPSTONE.
picture: NASA

NASA’s CAPSTONE probe has nearly completed its four-month journey to the Moon, where it will test a unique halo-shaped orbit in preparation for a future space station. However, late last week As the probe was performing a trajectory correction maneuver, CAPSTONE entered safe mode from which it has not yet exited.

CAPSTONE entered safe mode on the evening of Thursday, September 8, just as the probe was completing its course correction maneuver. In a dire brief, NASA said the CAPSTONE mission team “has a good knowledge of the condition and condition of the spacecraft.” statement. “The mission operations team is in contact with the spacecraft and is working towards a solution with the support of the Deep Space Network. Additional updates will be provided as they become available.” No further updates have been provided since the statement was posted on September 10.

Advanced Space, the NASA-funded company that owns and operates the probe, said in a report statement. “As solution efforts progress, more updates will be made available. The spacecraft is still on its planned path to the Moon.”

capstoneor lunar autonomous GPS technology operations and navigation experience, Launched into space on June 28 aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket. The 55-pound (25-pound) cube is on the Explorer mission for NASA’s Artemis program, which seeks to build a sustainable human presence on and around the Moon.

Once on the moon, NASA-funded CAPSTONE will enter a near-linear halo orbit (NRHO) – a fuel-efficient orbit that takes advantage of the neutral gravitational points produced by the Earth and the Moon. Within this gravitationally stable orbit, NASA and its partners plan to build a space station on the moon called Gate. CAPSTONE, designed and engineered by Terran Orbital, will serve as an advanced explorer to confirm theoretical models about this unique orbit.

The job got off to a rough start when there was a connection problem Mission observers were prevented from contacting the probe in early July. The case was a result Incorrectly formatted command, which disabled CAPSTONE Radio. Naturally, restarting the system resolved the issue. With communications restored, the team was able to perform the probe’s first correction maneuver.

On August 26, CAPSTONE reached its farthest point from Earth, or apogee, at a distance of 951.908 miles (1.53 million km). CAPSTONE is expected to enter the NRHO on November 13, 2022. At least that’s the plan. Fingers crossed so that NASA and Advanced Space can solve this last problem with the probe, and this important mission will be able to continue.

more: NASA’s Artemis Moon Landing Program: Launches, schedule, and more.

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